Measuring ideology is an essential exercise in any research process. In the normal scenario, ideologies can be measured using either survey or non-survey processes. This paper focuses on the advantages of utilizing the non-survey process to measure ideology over surveys in the contemporary society. The most common types of survey data may be classified as a paper survey, mobile survey, online survey or a combination of all the above modes. Ideology measured through surveys depends on the availability of the respondents. The most common challenge of survey exercise is that the respondents may not be easy to reach. Considering many facets of research, non-survey data of measuring ideology has numerous forms of advantages over the survey data.
Politicians have increasingly dominated the social media as a ground where they share their political ideas. The information is easily availed through the tweeter and serves as an available non-survey form of data. Considering the over dominance of social media sites, it is clear that ideologies can be easily accessed for measurements under non-survey data. Social networks are hemophilic and provide information that is variable, and whose value is inferable. The method allows for easy estimation of ideologies than other survey methods of data analysis. The non survey method used in this case allows for the availability of ideologies from all politicians across the board. The politicians whose ideologies can be easily analyzed using non-survey data include the political parties and legislative ideas. On the contrary, survey data is complicated and may not capture a group of people with a common objective. The non-survey data is guided specific ideas, hence, make it easy to measure the ideologies addressed by different parties. From this observation, it can be realized that non-survey data provides ideologies that are easy to measure.
The non-survey process of measurement is a reliable means of measuring ideology based on the protection of its users from content exposure. Based on the modality of operation, the non-survey process of measuring ideology does not expose users to unnecessary risks. A case in point is observed in tweeter networks that do not allow for the exposure of cross-ideological contents followed. The ideology retrieved from non-survey sources are often classified in clusters and subgroups. If a topic is picked for analysis, the sources would only allow for highly connected self users. The aspect helps encourage the participants to share their ideas on a common ground without fear of victimization. In non-survey sources, ideologies are shared on coded messages that adopt different orientations. The concept is observed among the tweeter users since they have limited chances of accessing cross ideological contents from other clusters
Another advantage of non-survey data is that it is attached to the accuracy factor of measurements. Ideas that are retrieved from non-survey methods of measurements are often characterized by the facts retrieved from the social media. The ideology that is measured through non-survey methods of research are often accurate compared to the survey data. In most cases, survey data is dictated by the freedom of the components, which may not be willing to provide accurate information. On the contrary, non-survey data is accurate and, hence, reliable in measuring ideology. Since survey process is subject to accuracy challenges, it is clear that non-survey process provides more accurate measurement of ideology than survey process. Additionally, non-survey data does not depend on the respondent’s honesty when providing answers.
Another advantage of non-survey source of data is that it is relatively cheaper than the survey processes. Due to the reduced costs of interpersonal communication, social media has become widely spread across the world. Many people utilize twitter, and facebook to share their ideologies across the divide. It is clear that essential data can be shared among groups and sub groups through such facilities. Ideas that are shared on the social media are usually relevant to any given group that shares and engages in those sharing sessions. Due to the reduced costs, a lot of people prefer using social media to share out their ideologies concerning specific issues in the society. For instance, a group of people would form a facebook group to share about a specific political agenda. Through such contributions, it becomes easier to measure their ideology. On the contrary, survey processes of a data acquisition are relatively inexpensive. The difference in expenses involved makes non-survey data advantageous in measuring ideology over survey data.
Additionally, non-survey source of data is usually capitalized on homogeneous subjects and orientation. The ideas retrieved from the texts and social media sites are homogenous and usually tend to address a common agenda. All the people who participate in any line of non-survey process are bound to share information about a particular idea. Chances of engaging in cross-ideological topics are usually slim. Due to this observation, it is clear that the data can easily apply when it comes to measuring of ideologies. The ideologies covered in any given topic of discussion remains consistent in the case of non-survey data. The concept is, however, different in survey data process. Measurement of ideology in survey data is hard to because the data comprises of cross-ideological views.
The level of independence is relatively high when it comes to the use of social media sources. Based on this avenue, citizens rely on their personal networks to acquire political ideas, build identities and arrive at independent voting choices. The ideologies realized through social media are, therefore, driven by a higher level of independence and can be used as a measuring tool. Different citizen often feel free to make posts on the social media sites depending on their choices. The concept of independence that characterizes non-survey data serves an advantage in this case. Since the information provided by the non-survey data methods are willingly provided by the participants, there is a higher level of accuracy that is attached to these pieces of information. As opposed to the survey data where respondents are requested to take part in sharing their ideologies, non-survey is self driven, hence, accurate piece of data.
There is great evidence that the masses posses coherent ideologies. Each cluster of ideology is characterized by a specific group of people. Based on the political views, it is clear that twitter allows minimal cross-ideological moves. A study of more than ten controversial political topics reveals that each of the political topics was separately addressed by different groups of people. These masses formed sub-clusters of effectively connected users to share a specific political stand. From such an observation, it can be noted that masses tend to posses coherent ideologies. Another form of evidence that can support the fact that masses have coherent ideologies is observed from the use of tweeter to share out a particular concept. In most cases, people would find it easy to tweet on a particular topic depending on their interest. If a topic attracts many people in the social media, their ideas posted by the users on the site are usually similar, hence, they form a cluster. Social media users whose ideologies are different would never share a common platform when sharing their ideas. In essence, cross-ideological contents are unlikely to feature in non survey data. Based on such observations, it can be deduced that masses are characterized by coherent ideologies.
Another idea is observed in politics where various people are inclined to different reasoning styles. The most common political stokeholds are, however, inclined to specific reasoning patterns. Another factor can retrieved from the occurrence of 2012 presidential elections in the US when the campaigns assumed ideological cluster of orientation. The idea is further supported by the fact that birds of the same feathers flock together. Based on the fact that specific groups of people adopt particular patters to reason, it can be realized that masses are characterized by coherent ideologies.
When using surveys, there are numerous ways through which ideology can be measured. The most common way of measuring ideology in survey data involves formation of clusters. Prior to the process, the ideas to be measured should be analyzed in terms of clusters. Once the data has been grouped in terms of clusters, it would be easier to invite respondents who would just make choices of what they believe in. subjecting respondents to the process of making their decisions may occasionally impose challenges because they may fear expressing their opinions. Another way through which survey data may be used in measuring ideology involves use of voluntary questionnaire sheets. The respondents should provide their ideologies without necessarily revealing their identification details.